Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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| Why you need it
|Calcium||Helps build strong, dense bones in mother and child; may help prevent high blood pressure in pregnant women.||1,000 mg|
|Carbohydrates||Keeps the body from using protein for calories; is an energy source.||275–330 g|
|Choline||Crucial for baby’s brain development; may enhance mom’s memory.||450 mg|
|Fiber||Fights constipation; helps prevent hemorrhoids in mom.||25–30 g|
|Folate||Helps protect against neural-tube defects such as spina bifida; fights off anemia in mom. Folic acid is the man-made form added to enriched grains and dietary supplements.|| 600 mcg
(400 mcg for women trying to conceive)
|Iron||Ferries oxygen to the baby; prevents anemia in mom; wards off premature delivery.||27 mg|
|Protein||Provides the raw materials for cells, hormones and enzymes; keeps mom’s fluid balance in check.||70 g|
|Riboflavin||Necessary for energy production and protein use.||1.4 mg|
|Vitamin B6||Assists in the production of protein to build new cells.||1.9 mg|
|Vitamin B12||Makes red blood cells; helps the body use fat and carbohydrates for energy.||2.6 mg|
|Necessary for strong bones and teeth; boosts immunity; increases iron absorption from food; keeps blood vessels strong, red blood cells healthy, and soft tissues intact.||85 mg|
|Vitamin D||Promotes calcium absorption and deposition into bones.||200 IU|
|Zinc||Critical for cell growth and repair and energy production.||11 mg|
*nutrition basics for a healthy pregnancy
weight gain Women of normal weight should gain 25–35 pounds during pregnancy (28–40 pounds if you’re underweight and 15–25 pounds if you’re overweight; check with your doctor or midwife).
calories Add about 300 calories a day to your diet during the second and third trimesters.
what to avoid To reduce the risk of illness from the listeria bacterium, steer clear of unheated deli meats and unpasteurized cheeses. Never eat raw or undercooked animal foods such as meat, sushi, seafood or eggs; avoid fish that may contain excessive mercury, such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish. Limit shellfish and canned fish to 12 ounces a week. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, and medications that have not been approved by your doctor or midwife.
vitamins Take a daily supplement, as recommended by your doctor or midwife, that supplies 100–150 percent of the Dietary Reference Intake for all vitamins and minerals. Consider calcium supplements if you can’t make the quota of 1,000 milligrams a day from foods and beverages.